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Should we be excited about the Booker longlist?

By William Skidelsky  

Around this time of year—in part because there isn’t much else going on—literary types always start having the “Who is going to make the longlist?” conversation. They mean the Booker longlist, which is announced in mid-August. Until a few years ago, the longlist (of around 20 books) was never made public; one simply got to know of the six novels that made the shortlist. Why did this change? Presumably for publicity reasons: the publication of the longlist is another “event” in the time-line of the prize, providing yet more opportunities for news stories, gossip etc. It also gives publishers another…

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